[Coral-List] Massive reef damage in the Spratly Islands

John McManus jmcmanus at rsmas.miami.edu
Sun Feb 22 21:31:01 EST 2015

Those interested in the future of SE Asian coral reefs might want to look at
this new online article: http://amti.csis.org/.


This picture-laden article focusses on the building of islands on the reefs
of the Spratlies as a political issue. As I am sure anyone familiar with the
impacts of large scale dredging and filling on coral reefs can attest, the
result of this island building will be major, widespread coral reef damage.
Looking historically, one finds that multiple claimants have at various
times done substantial damage to the ecosystems of the Spratly archipelago.
Given that fisheries are currently among the main reasons for the
territorial dispute, it is sadly ironic that the structures being built in
part to defend fishing grounds are in themselves undoubtedly damaging the
fishery resources.  


Much of the drive behind all of this infrastructure development is posturing
- building up legal support for a theoretical future case in a court of
arbitration. Antarctica is protected from such posturing in part by a treaty
with a freeze on claims and claim-supportive activities. Perhaps it is time
to learn from this success.




John W. McManus, PhD

Director, National Center for Coral Reef Research (NCORE)

Professor, Marine Biology and Ecology

Coral Reef Ecology and Management Lab (CREM Lab)

Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS)

University of Miami, 4600 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami, 33149

 <mailto:jmcmanus at rsmas.miami.edu> jmcmanus at rsmas.miami.edu
<http://ncore.rsmas.miami.edu/> http://ncore.rsmas.miami.edu/



"If you lose a diamond ring in the bedroom, don't look for it in the living
room just because the light there is better".




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